I don’t know about things in your neck of the woods, but here in Central Illinois, the indications of autumn are everywhere! The shorter days are marked with bright blue skies and a crisp breeze, mums adorn doorsteps, and there’s pumpkin spice everything! In case these tell-tale signs don’t ring true for you, last week also marked the Autumnal Equinox, a date when the day and night have equal timeshare and meteorologists make it official. It’s fall!
This is my favorite season, and I kicked off the festivities by digging my tall boots out of the closet, throwing an extra blanket on the bed, and spending the weekend hawking pumpkin doughnuts at a small-town harvest festival. (BTW, I think I’ve found a new calling - I can sell the heck out of fair food!) But the real reason I love fall is all the opportunities the season affords for family fun, mental well being, and a smooth transition into winter. The mild weather makes it easier to spend time outside, enjoying the physical and psychological benefits of being active, soaking up some vitamin D, and reconnecting with nature. The end of the agricultural season gives us time to enjoy the abundance, community, and gratitude that comes with a successful harvest. And the shorter days and cooler temps help us prepare our bodies and minds for what’s to come.
To help make sure that we don’t find this season rushing by without taking the time to really notice and appreciate it, try making a fall family fun list, filled with some of the fundamentally fall activities you and your loved ones want to do! Sit down with your kiddos, partner, or friends and brainstorm a list of the things you don’t want to miss. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Visit a pumpkin patch
- Play a game of touch football
- Jump in a pile of leaves
- Go apple picking
- Do an autumn craft (a birdfeeder or fall leaf suncatcher are fun ideas)
- Roast marshmallows over a fire
- Say what you’re thankful for
- Make a new fall food (try Tic-Tac-Taco Mix, Pumpkin Chili, or Apple Nachos from Eat.Move.Save)
- Cozy up for a movie night
- Attend a fall festival
- Learn about a fall holiday from another culture (Dia de los Muertos, Bonfire Night, Rosh Hashanah, Diwali, the Moon Festival, or Homowo may be good options)
- Go on a foliage drive
- Get lost in a corn maze
- Serve your neighbors (maybe donate to a coat drive or volunteer at food pantry or shelter)
MEET THE AUTHOR
Emily Schoenfelder joined the Illinois 4-H team in 2017. Prior to this, she began her work in positive youth development with California 4-H and the YMCA. She specializes in STEM engagement, social-emotional development, and educator professional development.
She received a Master of Science degree in recreation, park, and tourism administration from Western Illinois University.
When she is not leading a training, writing curriculum, or developing new partnerships, you may find Emily sitting on the floor of her office, building marshmallow catapults out of popsicle sticks or designing mazes for robots for her next STEM program.
ABOUT THE BLOG
Connection Corner is a blog that provides timely information, activities, and resources to help you stay connected to loved ones, the world around you, and yourself.